Life at the end of the road

March 26, 2018

I almost forgot :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:56 pm

In my haste to tell you all about concrete I forgot about Friday night at the Raasay Distillery.

Raasay Tunes

Live Music at Raasay Distillery

Truth is, it was more a case of I was in a hurry this morning when I posted rather than forgetting. It was far too memorable a night to forget . Friday night’s performance of tunes inspired by and or written about Raasay by Peter Morrison and Seamus MacLennan was of the highest standard extremely well attended.

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Every tune had some connection to Raasay, though some would have been familiar and perhaps known by other names elsewhere in Scotland. However it says something of my adopted home that Peter and Seamus spent the whole evening playing Raasay inspired music from throughout the centuries.

Peter and Seamus are two of Skye’s best known musicians both locally and internationally, through regular traditional music sessions in the Old Inn, Carbost and performing at some of the world’s greatest festivals and venues over the past 25 years with the Peatbog Faeries.
Seumus’s family hails from Raasay and both look forward to a lively night performing their unique ‘Raasay Tunes’ repertoire at the Isle of Raasay Distillery.

The evening is a musical celebration of Raasay with tunes inspired by the people, the place and its history. Peter and Seumas don’t just play the tunes, they set the scene for each with storytelling insight and characteristic Hebridean banter. Set in the Distillery’s Gathering Room with a stunning sunset view across the Raasay Narrows to the Red Cuillin, this is bound to be a magical musical evening.

Two 45 minute sets with a 20 minute break for drinks & eats.

The ‘half time’ grub was pretty good too, ‘stovies’ they call it here ‘tater hash’ where I hail from, anyway, it went down a treat with half a bottle of house Merlot that was very favourably priced.


This morning it was off early to take Leah and Molly for a walk round ‘Number 2 mine’ before catching the 7:55 ferry for Skye.


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This building housed the machinery that pulled the ore carts to the pier and back. Dunno what drove it but it must have been quite some motor or engine to pull all those carts such a long way.


It’s all in Laurence and Pamela Drapers excellent book on the subject but I’ve forgotten Sad smile

After our walk we just about managed to squeeze on the MV Loch Linnhe which we’re stuck with for a couple of days yet.


Hopefully we’ll have Hallaig’s 23 car sister the Lochinvar before Good Friday I believe she’ll be on her way from Arran tomorrow Smile


Me, I was off to Jewson’s  in Broadford for concrete reinforcing bar and cement and up to Eddies at Skyefit to get some punctures repaired and order a tyre.

Image result for bfg mud terrain

Eddie’s the agent on Skye for BF Goodrich tyres and his prices are pretty good. Having said that these 33 x 12.50 x 15” tyres aint cheap but they last three times longer than the current Chinese one’s on the ‘Old Girl’. Last time I needed tyres I was pretty skint and got wheels and tyres for the same price as BFG’s. Still ‘you get what you pay for’ and whilst a BFG is good for around 36K on the Land Rover, the Chinese equivalent struggles to manage 12K or just over a year.

Next stop was the ‘smoking volcano’


That’ll be Sconser quarry for two more tons of 20mm ‘all in’ concrete mix for the fish farm slip.


Expertly deposited by Yogi Smile

Managed to get back home on the 10:25 then got straight into preparing more shuttering for the next pour tomorrow.

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All timber grown locally and cut at the Raasay Sawmill by Callum Findlay,

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guess what I’m doing tomorrow Smile


February 12, 2018

Engineerless :-(

Sunday already and chance to get of blogging in at last, just cannae manage work and posting, it’s just too much for an old fart like me. Truth is, that apart from last night we’ve both been in bed before 21:00 every evening. Darling wife is too feeling the strain of full time employment, mind you she smells lovely when she comes home from work Smile 

Work got off to a great start on Tuesday with me heading off to see me Mammy first.

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Gotta say I was a little surprised when I drove down ‘The Avenue’ on my way for the 8:55. Last time I was down there, only a few days previously there were considerably more trees standing. There was a John Deere harvester and forwarder working just by the Raasay Sawmill (convenient hey) and a truck coming off the ferry.


After a pleasant few hours with Mum and Leah the Labrador it was onto work to join the 15:00 ferry and start my ‘two weeks on’

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Looking towards Glomach from Ratagan over Loch Duich. The Storr, Raasay and the Moll fish farm. Ronja Commander at Caridh fish farm in Loch Ainort.


‘Work’ arriving to collect me Smile

Two dogs walking Smile

So, now we’re both out at work all day, at least when I’m ‘on shift’, we now have a ‘latch key’ wee dug, or at least we would have if I didn’t take her to work. Molly accompanied me on Wednesday morning and now lives in the car until lunchtime when she joins Bonzo and I for our afternoon stroll. I can’t say she was too impressed with sitting in the back of the car,


but she sure did enjoy the walk with Bonzo and they seemed to get on well enough.


I guess not needing to put Molly on a lead makes her ‘boss dog’ so she was just fine with that.

With the weather for the foreseeable future involving showers and a cold wind I decided the engine room was the place for me this week


so concentrated on some cleaning and painting of the aft engine room bilge.

Being buried in the engine rooms certainly beats the carp out of clam diving at this time of year but that didn’t stop these two in the Inverness registered, INS94, ANT IASGAIR, (The fisherman)


At least the Sarah has a cabin.


Don’t think Ant Iasgair will around for long after Sarah has already been here for a couple of months now and those boys really do know their stuff Smile

Me, when I was doing it, I surfaced to a nice warm boat with an insulated cabin, two heaters and a sleeping bag for a ‘wee rest’ between dives. These dudes are much, much hardier than I ever was!

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Yup, give me the bowels of a nice warm ship at this time of year any day. Having said that it was a great way to earn a living and it was only age, responsibilities and a few ‘near misses’ that stopped me doing it.

Battery operated cars and ferries Smile

Well, that went a little ‘pear-shaped’ I accidentally posted the above prematurely, pressed the publish instead of save! Anyways, the painting kept me occupied for most of the week, which was pretty quiet, I guess due to the weather. Not the weekend though, far from it, Raasay seemed to be overflowing with visitors this weekend. No doubt helped by some good deals at Raasay House, the great weather and the new Distillery’s ‘Whisky club’ which seems to be getting well used.

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And you don’t have to own a Tesla model S to be able to afford to join Smile The wife took me around a few weeks ago and the rooms are just lovely.


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The next best view on Raasay, after the one from Sonas of course Smile

Raasay Engineering is no more Sad smile

It will be great missed by both the inhabitants of Raasay and the ferry in particular, Simon was always at hand for the odd welding or fabrication job and often pulled us ‘out of the brown stuff’ with some of his ingenious repairs. However he’s relocating to France this week and we all wish him, Lynn and the dogs all the best. The ‘Macleod Hauler’ name and business lives on, though now at Kishorn Mechanical Services Ltd . The only ‘upside’ of this being that Simon kindly gave me a whole heap of steel and fastners that I now need to find room for in my shed!

Sunday was a lovely drive to work in daylight with the sun rising on fresh fallen snow.

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The extra weekend traffic made for the the busiest ferry of the year so far and the battery powered Tesla departed along with 17 other cars on a fully battery powered ship.

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The day wasn’t all ‘rosy’ right enough


though most of that is the ‘deck drencher’ system. A little while later the sun was out once more.

The Eberspacher

Having some time on my hands I ran some tests on my Eberspacher D1LCC, heating up the flame and temp sensors with a heat gun then checking the resistance using multimeters and an IR thermometer.

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They supposed to conform with the tables below.


and whilst my temp sender did, my flame sensor didn’t but in my experience with these type sensors. If the value alters smoothly as the heat rises then everything is usually peachy. I’m certainly not going to fork out £75 for a new one on the ‘off chance’. I’ll give it a good testing as soon as I can find the rheostat switch. The thing about old age is, you spend half your time looking for stuff you’ve put somewhere safe!!

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Clouds clinging to the north shore of Loch Sligachan and Ben Tianavaig.

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